Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I am sick as a parrot. See this lovely Studio shop that i built ? I have been waiting for a year for the heritage society who own the land to make me an offer to buy it . Today finally they did, with a letter which seems to imply they think they have the right to enforce the sale? They have offered £2000 only, with two weeks before the tourist season... theyve given me a week to accept and complete the sale. I had been counting on this nest egg to clear my debts & have a fresh start, but it looks like more entrenched battling to come. This fecks things up for both me and my sub-tenants. Theres no WAY i'm accepting this offer.
Whats sickening is that it would have been a nice little business still if i hadnt had so much hassal . I am also way too busy this week or next to even start trying to get legal help or advice. Very fed up that i keep getting treated like this, especially after all the free artwork & years of labour i contributed. ARGHG !

and they all live happily ever after.
Except i don't, having got up at 5.30am to get some peace to work on the mountains of paper & job-lists about me, i implode in a fusion of dirty dishes, bills, fire-brigade homework, cowboys & wolves.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

first colour sketch.
who saw that crystal cave on planet earth tonight ?
fantasy authors havent even come near that one eh ?

wolf sketches page 2.
ah the muse and famillies are not very compatable. interuptions every 3 seconds, no wonder my attention span is mince.
and the saffin raffin printer won't work now until i get to town to buy some more yellow ink which will be Wednesday. Grrr.

some character model sketches for the wolf.

Heres Character drawings for the little girl in the wolf story animation proposal.
There was no brief as such, & i don't know what technical range is being considered, if its cardboard cutouts or simple flash, this style is going to be tricky, Tho once i do a painted scene, i hope it will convey the thing better, cos i'm picturing something that could be simple or complex...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Sing, I'm a stone mason & i'm alright.
KNACKERED ! lime mortar stings, my hands are shredded & my face is sore. been singing REM all week 'world leader pretend' ," you fill in the mortar, i'll fill in the harmony".

Just booked Radiohead tickets for august. Hurrah & OUCH. don't think we'll get Ishie-bou in, unless she can squeeze in another birthday.

meanwhile had the local playgroup visit the new fire station yesterday morning, due to population, houseing, jobs disaster locally theres only 4 of them this year, but all very cute & only mildly terrified. i think the best pix are on my collegues camera.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

hurrah ! the snowy wall posted.
meantime ive been sorting out flights to brum for this fire course & swotting up insane & scary fire facts;
1) pregnant female firefighters should be aware of bio-hazard threat around sheep.
2)in the event of a military plane crash where we suspect a nuclear warhead on board, we should stay up-wind & 600m away.
3) we should carry a fire extinguisher in the cab if theres a danger of getting petrol bombs thrown at us.

building stone walls in snow is snow fun.
so we stopped early

and called it a day after 9 hours and when my hands hurt so much it bought on an allergy attack... ? wheeze.
still i like walling, theres a sublime simple pleasure in making rocks fit together, squillions better than hotel work.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

life is nothing if not varied !

today i shall mostly be shifting rocks & building a wall for someone, appart from this afternoon when i'm teaching art.

Ive also got word up on a film making project, only 3 groups & 1 individual will be selected to get tuition in computer art & animation techniques to make a short peice for the film fest in Nov. Its a long shot, but having got no response from colleges on the subject this would be brilliant. working up an idea based on the wolf dream sequence, wanting to make it an overt statment about fear & zenophobia, tying it into the influx of polish workers into the area... or i could go for the easy option, re-interpret a local folk tale.

just found out Radio head are doing a stadium in edinburgh this summer... we're there.

todays recomendation ; whos not heard U2's cover of patti smiths dancing barefoot ? or in fact the original of course.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The regular Friday Fire.

wildlife report; nearly squashed an artic hare, a pine martin, many many deer and a small vole.


Thursday, March 16, 2006


okay okay ! Ive started alright !
blimey Wendy seems upset by something.
layout of chapter one started, i'm on 2.

have to dash & get fire hat on for evening shift.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

tv rant. body as canvas?

they are stupid on tele. did anyone see this body shock "body as canvas" programme last night.
i think muddling up body modifying with these performance art mentalists was crude. they seemed fixated with the pain element. the point that its hypocritical to see mainstream mutilation such as plastic surgery, as okay, but body modifying as not , is a good one. But its not all about pain, thats another issue, Its about changing appearance & using the body as a canvas. We don't got to the dentist cos we're fixated with pain, but to get our teeth looked after. I'm working on my own tattoos at the moment, cos i can't find or afford a decent tattoo artist, theyre crude & take forever, with artists ink & a sewing needle, but ultimately i have complete control over what they look like. i like the images, the ability to tolerate pain is irrelevant..

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

community safety 

extra training with the boys. new RTA kit.
 visit from health & safety top bloke in scotland who deals with brigade & our immediate district boss, spent all day knocking on doors dealing with community fire safety, 

 'jaws of life' a cutting & spreading tool

still i got lots of practice for forthcoming LGV test , had to reverse engine into some mighty small driveways & up mud tracks etc today.

started Wild West Wendy. Got the giggles re-reading the script in my Art class.

silly dog.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Full MooooN !

This is a rubbish moon pic, the phone-cam is no good at night, but who cares.

Some days are big adventures & other days form lots of disjoined baby step jigsaw peices which become their own adventures in the longer term.

I tried to start work on the lovely Wild West Wendy story written By Richmond today, but failed, found bizarre google pictures of anni oakly etc tho'.

meanwhile spent the day with fire brigade hat on, knocking on doors fitting smoke alarms & doing home fire safety checks. The irony being that my own house fails on all counts. We were doing outside the village today, strathcarron, attadale, camallt, blackwood, Its amazing how much more rural things are just one mile out, all out-houses, mud & collie dogs, which i pine for compared to the small towniness of lochcarron village itself. Proffesionalism prevents me from telling tales about the stinkiest house in the universe; about how insane people are, in general; and about how RAGING i am about who got the tenancy of the perfect estate house i was promised last autumn, insult, injury and a smack in the head with a concrete block, fandabidozi... one of my worst stalkers is back in the area, and in MY house !? theyre having a laugh ! but i don't care.

Takymo, decided to jump in the driving seat for a long nagged about driving lesson around & round the fire station car park, only second time ever, she did really well... and so did my nerves considering previous driving instructing experiences. It turns out size 9 'New Rock' boots don't really fit the pedals of the miniscule Bou-mobile.

" IS Bad ARt for BAD people?"

Sunday, March 12, 2006

a pair of playing pine martins

This was in Tals camera from last monday night the 6th. On our way back from skye at about 9:00pm we saw two beasties scuffling across the road, they were either playing or fighting. We were near the loch so it could have been otters, but it was a pair of fairly small pine martins, we stopped the car & they ignored us making hissing meowing cat fighting noises. CUTE ! ( unless youre a chicken )

Staggy Art

went to town today & raided the Art shop with birthday moneys, i've got a need for gold & bronze at the mo' , should raid B&Q as well... thinking whole gold canvases. yummie.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

clay boats.
Check out what the kids made at the pottery workshop yesterday. Arent they great ?
most of the kids made boats, all copying the alpha clever kid. no surprises that Applecross is a remote wee village on a peninsular surrounded by the sea, some of the dads are fishermen or in the coast guard. In June every year theres a music & seafood festival there which is great. The Host inn, run by Judith Fish ( no joke ) is famous for the fresh seafood & its a popular run with bikers cos of the high road.
My late mate Erik once skateboarded down the hill, but he was CRAZY. i made it up there on my honda brazil 125cc bike this summer which was a Huge achievment, especially when i got to the top & realised that i was completely & utterly out of oil, oooops, i'd kind of assumed someone else had checked that for me. What a rush tho', felt quite silly & rusty compared to the gaggle of bikers with shiney new super bikes & fancy kit at the top viewpoint. yeah if youre ever in the north west, head over the Bealach & have lunch at the applecross Inn. Oo also theres some excellent history & archeology over there, some of which will be covered in a Time Team episode due to be shown soon... and that my friends is another story.

has everyone heard the cover version of wicked games by HIM ? go download it now !
snowy pottery; fireworks quiz & car crashes.

So friday the 10th i was double booked, the hotel i work at was holding a quiz night to raise funds for the bonfire display our fire
brigade run every guy fawkes night. But i was also running a pottery workshop for the youth club at Applecross.
This is a village much smaller than mine, over the highest hill road in Britain, the famous Bealach na ba, a hair raiseing hairpin bendy single track road, which ive not been happy with since my son rolled his car down it, with me in, upside down.
However,Chugging along in my unfeasably small car full of clay with NIN blasting out, lifes fine. until i hit the rain, which turned to snow.

It was pretty murky up there in the gathering gloom. no Yetis though Ed. nothing like the metres of snow my parents are currently experiencing in newfoundland either.

The Pottery class was great, Applecross kids lack the mainstream general urban horridness of kids from my village, no clay being throw, no fake poo & no hoarse dispairing adults yelling. result.

road back had been ploughed, so only arrived at quiz an hour late, Being Bou-no-mates, i was happy to tag with the first team of blokes propping up the bar that asked me, hence avoiding brigade politics... ten questions in & our emergency pagers go off... to the impressed gasp of a drunken bar full.

We havent had a call out since getting big new engine & station at other end of village. Full crew turned out nice n fast, tho our sub-officer having to run back in the bar to get car keys off wife slowed us 30 seconds. It was an RTA, road traffic accident, 7 miles up the glen. we were first in line, racing to catch us were the ambulance & police. A car was on its roof 5 m down a steep bank, one incredibly lucky, LUCKY casualty was found by railway line
workers who were out clearing a tree on the line nearby . No further assistance was required so we put a stop in for the other two fire vehicles making their way behind us. i had the job of crawling inside the mashed car to recover personal effects amid the blood splattered air bags & glass, we then left the scene to the hoards of polis that had arrived & left the casualty in the care of the paramedics etc. It was one of those shouts that went like clockwork, everyone acting like proffesionals instead of the trumpton idiots we sometimes feel. Nice one boys!

and then even better, we returned to the pub having missed the quiz, but gaining a well deserved (half ) pint from "ooing" and "Ahhing" people, "sorry ladies & gentlemen we cannot possibly discuss what happened, but needless to say we're all incredibly heroic, I thankyou fans "

and that was day one of my blog.
night night x

Friday, March 10, 2006

HUrrah ! Welcome to my new blog. Behold the 3 bous ( i'm the old one ) It seems a rather indulgent concept, so i've held off from getting one, but figure i'll save www.balnacra.com for moderately sensible self-pimping art/ crafts & comics. Thus the blog zone can be a more general place for friendly types to catch up.

Recent happenings have been the almighty 40th birthday shock horror event last week, which wasnt as painful as it could have been, having avoided the misery of being sociable locally.
This week i have been making some nice staggy based art lots of collage & gold paint & hand-made paper, stick them in shiney gold tescos frames , shove them in galleries & i'm calling it 'work'.

appart from that ive done a mammoth day-job extravoganza , the longest shift in history. I started at the hotel regular day job, painted the kitchen ceiling & did usual cleaning & food prep, then home, chores , cooked tea, walked dogs, 40 minutes sleep, travelled with boss-donald 2 hours south to avimore ski resort & started cleaning out a kitchen & extractor system of a bar /bistro. the punters played pool to rock music, then they danced with a cheesy DJ disco...we scrubbed...the punters went home, we scraped, a freezing fog desended on a silent town, we steamwashed, it got light, cleaning staff arrived, we scrubbed some more, chef started cooking breakfasts, I'm still scrubbing, on my bruised knees & off the ladders by now, chef prepares lunches... we left at 1pm, so thats the story of the 29 hour shift.

and thus like a zombie of exhaustion i find myself building a blog.